Expungement Is Next Hurdle

Change of Heart New Jersey

Bloomberg comments If States Legalize, Expungement Is Next Hurdle

Cannabis legalization is on the ballot in five states this Tuesday, and polling shows it’s likely to pass in most of them by a clear majority. What’s less clear is what happens to all the prisoners already incarcerated for possessing something that’s now legal.

Even if a state passes an expungement law, there’s the added challenge of actually locating prisoners. Some county-level records are still in paper form, said Sarah Gersten, executive director of the Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit that estimates there are 40,000 U.S. cannabis prisoners and aims to free every one of them. Meanwhile, prisoners still languish in jail in states that have already legalized sales. “There are thousands of people still incarcerated for cannabis offenses in California, Michigan, Colorado and Oregon,” Gersten said, citing around 2,000 alone in Michigan as of this year. 

Three of the four states voting on recreational use are red ones: Arizona, Montana and South Dakota. Medical use is on the ballot in Mississippi and South Dakota. 

Another Republican Pox

Trump bashed Biden repeatedly for legislation passed over 20 years ago that resulted in black incarceration.


But what did Trump do about it?

Cannabis policy of the Donald Trump administration

Trump could have and should have supported cannabis legalization and expungement. 

Instead, please consider the Cannabis policy of the Donald Trump Administration.

The Donald Trump administration has taken positions against marijuana and the easing of laws regarding marijuana. Although Trump indicated during his 2016 presidential campaign that he favored leaving the issue of legalization of marijuana to the states, his administration subsequently upheld the federal prohibition of cannabis, and Trump's 2021 fiscal budget proposal proposed removing protections for state medical marijuana laws. In 2018, the administration rescinded the 2013 Cole Memorandum, an Obama-era Justice Department policy that generally directed federal prosecutors not to pursue marijuana prosecutions in states where marijuana is legal as a matter of state law.